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Democratic Lawmakers Tour Wisconsin Juvenile Prisons

Tour Comes Amid Ongoing Federal Investigation Into Alleged Abuse Of Inmates

Lincoln Hills
The main entrance at Lincoln Hills School for Boys and Copper Lake School for Girls near Irma in northern Wisconsin. Photo: Glen Moberg/WPR

Two Democratic members of the Wisconsin Assembly have toured the state’s troubled juvenile prison.

Democratic Minority Leader Gordon Hintz and Rep. David Bowen toured the Lincoln Hills prison north of Wausau on Monday. WAOW-TV reports that they also met privately with a group of current and former workers there.

The tour comes amid an ongoing federal investigation into alleged abuse of inmates by guards there and a federal order this summer for the prisons to reduce the use of solitary confinement and pepper spray.

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Guards have said that order and staffing shortages have led to an increase in violent clashes with inmates.

Bowen tells WAOW that following the tour he’s even more concerned about conditions in the prisons than before. He says more workers are needed there.